We cannot eat money, but with money we can get a land where food and forests grow, where native wildlife can live in balance and where children can observe and learn how food comes to their table - and be mesmerized to see how much can actually grow in the forest! Wouldn't that be great! We think so, and that is still the dream and idea why Romi's Way is so keen on getting this project funded. To purchase a small forest land where urban children from Coimbra and other cities in Portugal can come and spend a day to get their hands dirty, be at awe of the diversity of species (plants and animals) that they can spot and learn that forests can truly be agricultural heavens too with mushrooms, berries, fruits, edible flowers and even vegetables growing there.
In additions, as recent studies have shown, children who can touch soil (on natural environment- not the same as sticking your fingers on your houseplants inside) on daily bases have way stronger immunity and wellbeing compared to those who have no access to it. And this makes us dream even bigger and wish that every urban child would have an opportunity to play outdoors on a forest or other natural park setting for at least 15minutes per day.
We are so grateful for your support, and keep you updated if our big-dream gets closer to become true and we could have our Agri-forest project started.
Romi's Way team
While we keep dreaming big, about a future where children would learn how food is grown naturally, what gourmet dishes can be grown in a forest and how rich bio-diversity is a treasure we all should start investing on, we are still significantly short on funds to get this dream implemented. Of course, purchasing a forest land is not a small investment, and we are aware of this.
So we take this opportunity to inform you about the forests during this winter season here in Central Portugal, where the climate change has not been kind to the forests and its inhabitants. Disappearing wildlife is a global problem, and Portugal (apart from protected areas) is not displaying a great variety of native forests where natural biodiversity could blossom. Hunting season, loud hunting dogs and screaming hunted animals does not make forests a pleasant place to go for walks. Additional worry this year has been the extremely heavy rains, causing landslides in the mountainous region, heavily manipulated by human hand - meaning mono-culture forests and landscapes where the natural capacity of soil to hold the land and absorb water is disturbed.
So, we hold on to our dream to buy forest land and return it to the hand of Mother Nature - where native flora and fauna can thrive and children can learn from these natural processes.
We keep you updated and keep our fingers crossed for a great year 2023!
Sari Bernardo - CEO, Romi's Way
We had a very hot summer in Portugal. There were days when temperature was as high as 43degrees Celcius. And this left a mark on Nature. Hundreds of wildfires. Hundreds of thousands of wildflife casualties. This year it really felt like Nature was finding it hard to adapt to the rapidly changing and warming climate.Many trees got 'sunburned' and had their ldry eaves dropped early.
Now, looking at the forests here in Central Portugal- we want to greet them as survivors, feeling they have made it through the summre and can finally enjoy some rain. Maybe mushrooms will appear too. Nature is recovering.
We just want to share our heart-driven wish and desire to see a future where native biodiversity and multi-culture would be returned to woodlands and biodiversity could return. The trend has been that burned land here is then purchase by paper companies planting mono-culture and non-native trees like eucalyptus (or pine) and these are dominitating all life in the forest, driving native flora and fauna away.
Please pass the word and take every opportunity to raise awareness and educate people on the damaging effects of mono-culture forests and the need for us all to help Nature to adapt to the chanigng climate. It is time to rewild Portugal too!
Best autumn wishes,
Romi's Way team
Dear friend of Romi's Way,
Firstly we take this opportunity to raise awareness about forest fires, and the fact that these are mainly linked to human activities and manipulations of the flora and fauna in Portugal. Monoculture (mainly eucalyptus and pine) forests dominates the landscapes in Portugal, and this makes them extremely vulnerable for fires. Native Portuguese forests with rich biodiversity are known to resists fires well minimising the loss of animal and plant based lives for the fires. And native, biodiversity-rich forests is what Romi's Way is all about promoting! They are not just a way to ensure native flora and fauna can thrive in Portugal, but they offer such a rich platform for edible plants, berries, mushrooms and fruits to grow that this is an exciting opportunity to connect back to Nature and realise that real food does not 'grow in supermarkets' or be industrially farmed. We would love to see a future where children learn about Life, by growing and maintaining life in practise and by growing their school meals in Agri-forest environments.
You are part of the dream, and we are holding on to it! Getting the desired land purchased is not an easy (nor cheap) task, however we know we will get there, with a generous support from good people like you.
Wishing you a wonderful June 2022,
Sari Bernardo- CEO, Romi's Way
Firstly, thank you for supporting our project and aim to establish an urban agri-forest for children and youth in Portugal. This project plan is very dear to us, as we believe Forests are a gateway to connect children, urban children in particular, back to Nature. Having a food-forest where children from urban areas could go and visit to learn about native biodiveristy and edible plants that the forest produces would be a crucial element for them to understand how life works and what real food is like.
Portugal is rapidly losing its native forests to commercially driven interest to grow eucalyptus and pine forests which are promoting mono-cultures in the forest. This is a killer for native wildlife and biodiversity and very alarming for the future of biodiversity in Portugal.
We are glad to be able to advocate and raise awareness regarding this issue and hope in the near future we would get the required funding to purchase our own forest to nurture and turn into biodiversity rich example for children to see and use as an example reference for how forests should, and could, look like in Portugal.
Thank you again for your support,
Sari Bernardo - CEO, Romi's Way
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